The online profile of Justin Jay Hatfield suggests that he's among the unlikeliest kidnapping-and-sex assault suspects ever. Most of the recent posts on his Facebook page highlight paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and a YouTube video shows him singing opera. Yet the Colorado Springs Police Department has named him a suspect in a crime involving a man who was allegedly victimized after acting as a Good Samaritan. Details and more photos below.
The "About" section of Hatfield's Facebook page notes his attendance at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where he focused on vocal performance. Here's an October 2013 clip of him singing Handel as part of the Pikes Peak Community College Opera Scenes series:
As for the self-portraits Hatfield has posted, they're utterly commonplace. Here's one example...
...and another: Far less typical are images being circulated by the Colorado Springs police: The latter shots appear to have been snapped last year; a Mugshots.com item lists Hatfield as having been booked in El Paso County last May for failure to appear. But right now, he's wanted on suspicion of infinitely more serious offenses.
On Monday night, April 14, according to KKTV, a driver encountered a man near Garden of the Gods and 30th Street in the Springs. The man said he'd run out of gas and needed a lift, and the driver complied -- to the man's regret.
Shortly thereafter, the man allegedly forced the driver to travel to an area on the west side of Colorado Springs near Gold Camp Road and sexually assaulted him.
Several hours later, the pair wound up at a King Soopers near Fillmore and Centennial, where the victim managed to escape. The driver, believed to be Hatfield, apparently then fled on foot.
Police describe Hatfield as armed and dangerous -- a far cry from the arts-loving singer he seems to be.
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Update: A short time ago, the Colorado Springs Police Department tweeted that Justin Jay Hatfield is in custody.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa April 15: "Eddie Simon faces possible life sentence for brutal cold-case sex assault."